Family of youth found dead in Poland seeks probe to unravel mystery

Ashiq Raghu
Ashiq Raghu (23). Photo: Manorama.

Kottayam: The family of a Thrissur youth who died about two months ago in Poland is seeking a thorough probe into the cause of his death. Ashiq Raghu (23), son of Abhilash and Bindu in Ambatt House at Peringottukara, Thrissur died at Zabki in central Poland on April 1. His roommates initially told the family that he was found dead in his bed in the morning. However, the family alleges that the roommates later changed their version.

A post-mortem examination was not conducted in Poland, as authorities stated Raghu had died of natural causes. However, an autopsy conducted in Kerala after the body was repatriated revealed that a head injury had resulted in his death. Raghu's family is still in the dark about his head injury. They have complained to the police and the Indian Embassy and are awaiting a response. Speaking to Manorama Online, Raghu's father, Abhilash, said his son's friends were making contradictory statements.

"Chandran Nellore, an office-bearer of the Malayali Association there (in Poland), informed me of Ashiq's death over the phone from the embassy around 3.20 pm on April 1. He was just 23," the father said. "I contacted his friends there, who said he had gone to bed after dinner but did not wake up in the morning." After this, we were busy arranging for the body to be flown home.
Abilash further stated that the people from the facility responsible for embalming and sending the body contacted him via WhatsApp, asking for documents, including a copy of the passport. "When asked, they said the cause of death has been mentioned as 'unknown'. I was also informed that the post-mortem was not conducted," he said.

When I inquired why a post-mortem had not been performed, the prosecutor there explained that it was because no one else was involved in the death. "I asked for the medical reports, saying the post-mortem could be conducted here (in Kerala). Since a post-mortem examination of an embalmed body could be conducted only with the police's permission, I submitted applications to the ADM (Additional District Magistrate) and the superintendent of rural police," the father explained.

The post-mortem conducted at the Government Medical College Hospital in Thrissur on April 12 revealed that Ashiq's death was not natural. It indicated that a head injury had caused his demise, with bruises also observed on his right shoulder, elbow, and right arm. "The police asked us not to cremate the body since there is a possibility for further probe. Hence, he was buried at the Laloor Crematorium."
Upon receiving the post-mortem report, the family wrote to Central Minister V Muraleedharan and the embassy. It became news in a section of the Polish media. "My son's friends called after it became news. They told me a new version, mentioning that their vehicle met with an accident while returning from an Easter party, which escalated into a brawl with a few Ukrainians," Abhilash said.

Ashiq's friends also said that one of them suffered injuries on the head but claimed ignorance when asked about whether the deceased was assaulted. "They said that Ashiq went to bed complaining of body pain while the remaining two in the room joined their friends for dinner in the adjacent flat. They said Ashiq was wriggling in the bed, and they alerted the neighbours, who brought in a doctor. Ashiq, they said, had died before the doctor arrived," the father recounted, adding that this version was different from what was told to him earlier.

Ashiq left for Poland a year ago after completing a mobile phone-related course. "A youth in the neighbourhood here arranged him the visa. He was working in a food-delivery firm and had been staying with two other Malayali friends at Zabki," Abhilash said. The man was told seven Keralites, including Ashiq, had attended the Easter party.
"The Indian Embassy should ask Poland for further probe into his death. I mailed the embassy on May 5, but I haven't received a reply," the bereaved father said.

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